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CS continues visit to Thailand (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, continued her visit to Thailand today (September 5). She met with several key officials, addressed a luncheon and met with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Bangkok Office, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) University Network (AUN) and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

     Mrs Lam started the day by calling on the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand, Mr Ning Fukui.

     Afterwards, Mrs Lam visited the UNESCO Bangkok Office and received a joint briefing by UNESCO, the AUN and the SEAMEO on their work in respect of heritage conservation, promotion of culture and regional co-operation in education. The UNESCO Bangkok Office is responsible for, amongst other things, implementing the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Since the establishment of the Awards, 14 heritage conservation projects from Hong Kong have been awarded under the programme, including the Tai O Heritage Hotel project, which just won the Award of Merit of the 2013 Awards announced this Tuesday (September 3).

     At a business luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore, Mrs Lam gave a speech on the advantages of Hong Kong as a business and financial centre and how Thai companies could benefit from the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement in accessing the vast market in Mainland China. Mrs Lam also briefed the audience on the latest developments of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

     "Hong Kong is keen to deepen its involvement in the economic development of Southeast Asia, in particular ASEAN, of which Thailand is an important member. A Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA will bring benefits to both economies and strengthen the ties between the two places," Mrs Lam said.

     Afterwards, Mrs Lam met with the Minister for Education, Mr Chaturon Chaisang, to exchange views on education and vocational training.

     Mrs Lam then met with the Deputy Minister of Commerce, Mr Yanyong Phuangrach. During the meeting, Mrs Lam sought and obtained his support on the early conclusion of the Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA. Afterwards, Mrs Lam attended a dinner hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Finance, Mr Kittiratt Na-Ranong. Both sides agreed to forge closer ties on various fronts.

     Mrs Lam will continue her visit to Thailand tomorrow (September 6), meeting senior officials and visiting the Bangkok Mass Transit System.

Ends/Thursday, September 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 23:29


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